Preferential infiltration openings such as fractures, fissures, and soil pipes allow surface runoff to quickly enter the groundwater system and expose shallow aquifers to contamination. Geophysical techniques have the potential to noninvasively characterize these fractures or soil pipes, even when they are obscured by vegetation or thin soil cover. Electrical methods are particularly effective because they are sensitive to soil moisture variations associated with these features and may be deployed to image very shallow structures. Mine-induced subsidence fractures and soil piping above karstic bedrock are examined here to illustrate these applications.

The longwall mining method removes coal from a long...

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